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Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

COURTESY HILFIKER RETAINING WALLS Gabions, wire cages filled with natural stones, are used as retaining walls that can support an earth wall, stabilize the soil or prevent erosion. They look natural and blend with the landscape by using filler materials excavated from the site or the local terrain.

Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

COURTESY HILFIKER RETAINING WALLS This decorative gabion wall is located near a highway exit ramp in Las Vegas.

Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

COURTESY HILFIKER RETAINING WALLS Hilfiker Retaining Walls constructed these gabion steps in Troon North Park in Arizona.

Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

COURTESY HILFIKER RETAINING WALLS Hilfiker Retaining Walls constructed these gabion retaining walls in Troon North Park in Arizona.

Gabion retaining wall has many uses in your yard

THINKSTOCK This gabion structure encircles a bed of fresh herb.


Now gabions have come to many backyards. Some consider it a piece of art. Others describe it as an attractive, effective and inexpensive retaining-wall system.

Bill Hilfiker owns Hilfiker Retaining Walls in Eureka, California. He is seeing more gabions in residential areas as architects are designing them into the total look of the home.

"It's a different look, more modern," he said. “There are so many shapes and sizes that can be incorporated into the design. We've been making them since 1984, but they started to become vogue in the late '90s. I have seen an entire wall that is a gabion, and I have seen them as the centerpiece of a backyard.”

Gabion is derived from an Italian word that means "big cage." It is an enclosure that can be filled with any sort of inorganic material: rock, brick or concrete debris. The cages were originally wicker but now are usually a welded mesh made of coated, sturdy galvanized or stainless steel wire that won’t bend when filled with rocks.

In landscaping, gabion walls can support an earth wall, stabilize the soil or prevent erosion. They look natural and can tie a house to the landscape by using filler materials excavated from the site or the local terrain.


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